Vallet Frères Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 6 Bottle Case
One of a handful of producers in the Côte d'Or who continue to use ultra-traditional winemaking techniques. Grapes are selected from vines of a minimum 15 years of age; after pressing the juice is decanted then fermented in open wooden casks using only natural yeasts and no temperature control. The white wines are left on their lees for an extended period and put into French oak barrels, where they mature for a minimum of two years with racking off two or three times a year (to gently remove natural deposits). They don't have a fancy bottling line here - usually a pipe is inserted into each barrel which is joined to four taps, and the wine flows by gravity straight from barrel into the bottles without any filtration and just a candle to check that it's clear!
With a complex bouquet of chamomile and butterscotch, the finish is impressively oaked with good, clean length. This Grand Cru shows impressive structure and is, without a doubt, a wine that will benefit from being put to one side for a few years to develop.
Given the labour-intensive traditional methods used to produce this Corton Charlemagne, a ying and yang approach to accompanying dishes should be adopted i.e. simply grilled lobster, snails in herb butter, or pike dumplings in a sorrel sauce.